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Cooking with Tallyrand

RECIPE PASTRY - sweet

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Sweet pastry, also known as sugar pastry or sweet, short pastry

There are many, many recipes for sweet pastry, this is a standard one that I always tend to use. Most recipes use castor sugar and of a lesser amount than butter. I prefer equal amounts of icing sugar. It gives a finer result and for my trainees over the years it made it an easy recipe to remember

Great tips to good pastry production are

  • do not over work, the more you work or knead the pastry the more the gluten in the flour develops. Resulting in either a tough pastry or one that will shrink when cooked
  • over working the pastry will also cause the butter to melt, making the pastry greasy
  • freezing the butter and then grating it in prevents both of the above (some chefs will also chill the bowl it made in)
  • ensure you only use your fingertips for rubbing in the butter, this encourages a light touch and also the palms of the hands are too warm and softens (or melts) the butter too much
  • lifting your fingertips just higher than the edge of the bowl when rubbing in the butter and letting it fall back down, this aides air incorporation
  • chiiling for an hour, allows the pastry to rest and the gluten to relax. Without this resting the pastry can shrink when cooked 

flour     - plain 250 gm
butter   - frozen 125 gm
sugar   - icing 125 gm
egg       1 pc
  1. sift flour and icing sugar into a bowl, and add a touch a pinch of salt
  2. grate the butter into the flour
  3. lightly rub the butter into the flour (using fingertips only) until a light crumble texture is achieved
  4. working quickly, add sufficient egg to make an homogenous paste
  5. knead the paste two or three times with the heel of the hand until very smooth
  6. roll into required shape, flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  7. remove from the refrigerator and use as required

chef notes